A modern setting with traditional Vietnamese touches helps this comfortable downtown cafe stand out from the pack. By Michael Tatarski. Photos by Jonny Edbrooke.

M2C Cafe A modern setting with traditional Vietnamese touches helps this comfortable downtown cafe stand out from the pack. Located on Ly Tu Trong just past the intersection with Pasteur, M2C – short for ‘modern meets culture’ – is a stylish addition to the downtown cafe scene. Head inside and you enter an air-conditioned oasis of much-needed calm after battling the traffic on eternally congested Pasteur. Seating options abound over two floors of space while the music remains quiet enough to act as background noise.

Brick and concrete walls along with exposed ducts and piping highlight the ‘modern’ half of the cafe’s name, while nice touches of Vietnamese culture – portraits of traditional Vietnam and a kumquat tree in one corner – keep things grounded.

M2C’s extensive drinks menu features anything you may need on a hot dry-season afternoon. The standard coffee and tea varieties range from VND 35,000 to VND 65,000, while speciality drinks such as the M2C Coffee 2, featuring coffee, peanuts, chocolate and cream, go for VND 65,000. Fruit smoothies, – I recommend the mango – are the same price, while fruit juices and yoghurt drinks came in at a slightly lower cost. Other highlights include the Chocolate Bailey’s for VND 60,000. A selection of health drinks from Spring Kiss Honey is also offered for VND 60,000  – VND 70,000, including lemon tea with honey and an apple, mango and honey mix.

If the drinks aren’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth then the array of desserts should certainly do the trick. Choose from delights such as mango pudding (VND 50,000), chocolate mousse or the crème brulee (both VND 45,000) for a midday sugar rush.

A diverse food menu also features traditional Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls, noodles and salad with a modern touch, while keeping prices affordable.

M2C is a great escape from the chaos outside, whether you are meeting up with friends or just taking some alone time. Another outlet is located at 4B Le Quy Don in District 3. Visit either spot for some peace of mind and a delicious drink or two.

44B Ly Tu Trong, District 1
Tel: 08 38 222 495
7am – 11pm